Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.46mi
  3. Distance: 0.60mi
  4. Distance: 0.63mi
  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.46mi
  3. Distance: 0.60mi
  4. Distance: 0.63mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.46mi
  3. Distance: 0.60mi
  4. Distance: 0.63mi
  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.46mi
  3. Distance: 0.60mi
  4. Distance: 0.63mi

About Al Dente

Al Dente is serving Italian Cuisine by Chef Roberto Donna near American University.

3201 New Mexico Ave. Suite E NW
Washington, DC 20016
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
11:30AM to 10:00PM Daily

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(202) 244-2223

Website:
http://www.aldentedc.com/

Parking Details:
Free Parking weeknights from 5:00PM and all day Saturday & Sunday.
50% OFF weekdays before 5:00PM.

Executive Chef:
Roberto Donna

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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Al Dente Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

3.8

ambience

4.0

value

3.8

Noise

Moderate

84% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (21)
Casual (14)
Fit for Foodies (14)
See All
Great for Outdoor Dining (13)
Authentic (11)
Creative Cuisine (11)
Comfort Food (7)
Special Occasion (7)
Tasting Menu (7)
Bar Seating (7)
Good for a Date (6)
Great for Lunch (6)
Kid-friendly (6)
Great for Brunch (5)
Happy Hour (5)
Seasonal (5)
Disabled Access (4)
Good for Groups (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Sunday Lunch (4)
Cozy (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Notable Wine List (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Good for Birthdays (2)
Business Meals (2)
Fun (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Healthy (2)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Great Beer (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Romantic (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
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799 reviews
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vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 6, 2013

Returned for a dinner. Much better service, still great food.

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food5
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 5, 2013

I am a huge fan of Roberto Donna's but I don't live near Al Dente so it took me a while to finally get there. I was not disappointed. The food was amazing. The menu is extensive and everyone in my party loved what ordered. I will certainly go back again.

One note - we arrived at 7 pm on a Wednesday evening and to my surprise there were a number of families eating. By 8 pm, it was all adults.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 5, 2013

Went for lunch for DC restaurant week. Bravo for including the full menu for restaurant week! The food is outstanding, the service not so outstanding. Don't go if you are in a hurry. But the food makes up for the service.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 4, 2013

This place was ok. Service, once we got seated, was ok. seemed to be a lot of confusion between staff. Bartender was also our server so when she was busy we waited. We finally asked a bus boy if he could remove our plates. Our server kept trying to take our food away ie remove the bread when the pasta arrived - the reason: the tables are small. Food was just ok. Husband had lobster and pasta and he liked it. I had maccaroni w/meatballs, cheese & basil. It had 4 small meatballs, lots of shredded meat and no basil that I could see. I would not order this again.
Cheese portions are tiny and expensive.

Overall, it's just OK, service really needs some work. We sat in the bar area.

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food3
ambience3
service3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 3, 2013

Our waiter Alberto provided great service. Alberto let us know about special reserve wines not yet on the menu (ours was a Barbaresco--nice finish). Has Italian good comparable to the quality in Tuscany, Umbria, and Piedmont in northwest Italy. Excellent food value and quality. Portions were large--could be reduced by 10%. We will definitely be back to this restaurant!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 2, 2013

If one chooses wisely from this much too long menu, there are some good dishes to be found ( such as pork belly and apples appetizer). Too many of the dishes are executed poorly, however. This is not a fine food restaurant in decor or kitchen production so perhaps Al Dente would have a better success at casual rustic and forget fancy or fried.

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food2
ambience2
service3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 27, 2013

We have been to Al Dente several times since it opened and have taken a lot of overseas visitors there. They were always impressed. The food has always been fantastic. The service is great. This time we discovered the Sunday Brunch which is great value. The owner/chef noticed one of us had not eaten much of their entree (there was nothing wrong with it but it turned out to be a lot richer than expected) so he insisted on making a similar but lighter dish to replace it.

We love the fact that this restaurant is just at the end of our street but its still worth driving across town for.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2013

Great food. As if you're in Italy.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2013

Wonderful food from start to finish. Not one complaint from our entire table. The Timpano di Maccharoni was a great appetizer (but could be shared easily by 3 people). The Banana and chocolate calzone was a fun way to end the night too!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service3

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 26, 2013

Had reservation at 8; wait until 8:45 but at bar w/ excellent service; seated at nice table, waiter helpful, good wine recommendation, then nothing. Took forever for order, bread, food to arrive, etc. Food was excellent with nice sized portions; everyone pleased. Took long time to get check; were charged for wine that we paid for at bar. Waiter did not return; gave check to another waiter with instructions to please remove charge; after long wait, original waiter brought check back; charge still there; waiter disappeared again; took check to bar; she fixed it quickly but couldn't find waiter; finally brought check herself to table. Waiter came as we were leaving to apologize. Too late for full tip!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2013

Extensive menu with many items I wanted to try. I think next visit I would order a couple of small plates rather then one entree.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2013

We had a delicious three course dinner. The menu offers a very wide variety of choices, including many wines available by the glass, nice if everyone is interested in different choices. The service was very good, and attentive. The desserts were excellent and creatively plated. We look forward to our return visit, which will be very soon!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2013

Food is good enough to trump all of the other weaknesses.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience1
service3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2013

The food was good, well prepared and tasty. I was especially gratified that it was not ear-splitting noisy, so common in restaurants of all kinds now, which mercifully allowed my wife and I to actually have a conversation with our friends. I cannot tell you the number of places we have not returned to because of loud, intrusive noise pollution. Why would anyone want to go out to an expensive restaurant and have to show up one another to hold a "conversation"? Again, thank you for providing a civil atmosphere that allows conversation. Your place would be even more cozy without the metallic industrial look; it has the feel of a well polished factory--cold, impersonal. I would have preferred wood.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Scenic View, Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience2
service4

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on January 24, 2013

The pasta dishes were very good, but my entree, though very flavorful, was way too salty.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 22, 2013

I really liked this place. Amazing pizza's you guys have!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 20, 2013

Great flavor and texture to the dishes we tried, especially the appetizers and Antipasti (caponata salad, Thinly sliced salami, sausage and lentils and crispy calamari) that come in good size portion, easy to share. Entrees and desserts were very good too but not quite as exciting as the appetizers. We went on a Sunday night and the service was rather spotty. We'll definitely go back and try different dishes like the grilled beef marrow. The menu has a lot of variety and something for everyone and the prices are very reasonable for the quality.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 20, 2013

Tonight we ordered the "The Skewered & Grilled Pork Sausage & Chicken Cubes."

The chicken cubes were completely missing! Instead, pieces of crouton-like bread were substituted for the chicken.

After dinner I checked the Al Dente website's online menu; the description clearly states the inclusion of chicken cubes.

All I have to say, is that if a establishment runs out of a main ingredient, they should remove the dish from their menu. They SHOULD NOT substitute cubes of over-baked bread.

What makes my rating so low is that our waiter returned to our table and claimed that the chicken was actually an ingredient WITHIN the pork sausage.

Completely unacceptable!

We gave Al Dente 4 chances. At this point there will not be a f

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food1
ambience2
service1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 19, 2013

Reminded me of a London hotspot.. Delicious food, good service. Will be back.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Hot Spot
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food4
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 18, 2013

The food is outstanding but the service remains ABYSMAL. It took 15 min to get our drink orders, another 20 min for our bread to come out, and over an hour for our food to come out. This type of service has happened every time I've gone.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service1

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 18, 2013

Had the seafood pasta. The seafood was very fresh, and the sauce was tasty. Service was spotty, though. Servers weren't the most friendly people. Probably an asset for people who live in the neighborhood.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food2
ambience2
service1

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 17, 2013

What a disappointment. Dreary food, stale bread, nonchalant service and a rather unattractive and uncomfortable space. Not the Roberto Donna of the past!

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food1
ambience1
service1

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 15, 2013

Very few people in restaurant; if there had been more it would have been noisy because the decor is all hard. There no noise softening materials used here. Cold and utilitarian feel.

Food was ok, fresh salad, very hot minestrone and eggplant parmigiana. Eggplant bit overcooked and too oily. Bread fresh.

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food2
ambience2
service3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 13, 2013

I loved the cornish game hen entree - perfectly cooked. Also the pork belly with apples appetizer though a bit sweet for my taste. The service was ok but not as good as a previous visit when Linda was my server - one of the best servers I've ever had. Still, I really like Karen, the hostess.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 12, 2013

Very good food and great menu. Very creative.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
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food4
ambience3
service3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 12, 2013

Very good food and fairly comfortable space. The waiter didn't care very much, and our service showed it.

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food4
ambience3
service2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 12, 2013

Great neighborhood restaurant. Lots of families, great food and wine.

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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 11, 2013

Seated 45 mins after reservation time. Waiter was uninterested and inattentive- spent more time chatting with one table than waiting on the rest. Got drink order wrong even after some delay. Food was mediocre and disappointing. Won't go back.

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food2
ambience3
service1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 11, 2013

Food very good but quite crowded. Mainly hard surfaces to reflect sound, so quite noisy.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
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food4
ambience3
service2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 10, 2013

The food and decor were both lovely. My only complaint is small - the staff seemed a bit distracted. They were nice and responsive, but we bounced between a few servers and they seemed confused about who was supposed to be taking care of us. Nevertheless, I look forward to many more meals at Al Dente.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 7, 2013

the menu is too big to do anything extremely well.

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food2
ambience5
service3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 3, 2013

Went there for my sisters birthday and was highly impressed! Scallop Appetizer was amazing, and the pasta was great as well. Our waiter made some great wine suggestions based off of our orders. Overall, a great experience!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 31, 2012

Second time eating here, but probably the last. Food is good, but portions are too big, and our waiter both times was annoyingly indifferent...amazing how much a negative experience with a waiter can impact the entire dining experience. Restaurant is attractive, the atmosphere lively, but at this point been there, done that, and not really interested in going again and having to put up with such irritating treatment.
Way too many other good restaurants where the wait staff is truly professional.

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food4
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service2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 30, 2012

Chef Roberto Donna, whose culinary magic is renowned, is stuck in a terribly-managed place. We waited 15 minutes for water and menus, then drink orders were botched. We got service when I stood and found the owner and complained. Even with a switch in waiters there was rampant chaos and I had to rise 3 more times to get someone's attention. Water glasses remained unfilled, appetizers were served to the wrong people, main courses came out at unpleasant intervals. The people who came in behind us were having coffee while we were still waiting for our mains. The food was good, but it was a very stressful and embarrassing evening. Donna was dismayed but powerless. The owner seemed indifferent.

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food4
ambience2
service1

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 29, 2012

It is nice to see Roberto Donna back producing great food and Mrs Donna tending to guests. I hope this venture continues successfully as a win/win for everyone. The food is great, the atmosphere friendly (less pretentious), and more casual and more reasonable $ wise.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 28, 2012

The food was very good but the noise can be unbearable at times. The layout and decor of the restaurant offer no buffer for the noise. It is not cheap either except for pizzas which attract a lot of families with kids.

Tags: Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service3

 
 (Miami)·Dined on December 26, 2012

I have eaten here for both lunch and dinner. Lunch the food is great the servers are gross. I'll fitting uniforms and unfriendly. The food is good enough to go back. For dinner the service is better and food and cocktails are excellent. The lighting is very bright which gives it a bit of a cafeteria feel but again food wins over. The owner and his wife are always there but they may want to hire a front of house manager because the service/ambiance pails in comparison

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 24, 2012

Our group of four had a very nice experience here.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 23, 2012

we have a great dinner, great waiter and a great time

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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 22, 2012

This was our 3rd visit and glad it wasn't our first. Took some friends to introduce them to Roberto Donna's amazing pasta. Service was spotty and we were bounced from server to server. Haz to ask to order, get napkins, plates, even more wine. Will be back for the food but hope the service improves.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service1

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